Police: 2 men charged in rash of catalytic converter thefts in Teaneck

Police say nine catalytic converter thefts were reported on Jan. 21 and 17 were reported on Jan. 31.

Lanette Espy

Jun 23, 2023, 4:55 PM

Updated 367 days ago


Police say two men stole catalytic converters in Teaneck. The two men are also believed to be responsible for a rash of thefts throughout New Jersey.
An investigation revealed Omar Fernandez and Gabriel Burgos stole the catalytic converters, authorities say. Police say nine catalytic converter thefts were reported on Jan. 21 and 17 were reported on Jan. 31.
The thefts all took place in the northeast section of Teaneck during the early morning hours, according to police.
Police say Fernandez and Burgos were operating what is believed to have been a stolen SUV, displaying a stolen temporary registration tag.
Both men were charged with theft, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools. Fernandez was arrested and remanded to Bergen County Jail, pending a court appearance. Police are still searching for Burgos.

Police offer ways to prevent catalytic converter thefts

Police are reminding residents to contact the police department as soon as possible if they hear power tools being operated in the middle of the night or if they observe suspicious vehicles or people in the roadway.
Police say vehicles should be parked in garages or on private property when possible and in well-lit areas, as thieves are mostly targeting vehicles parked in the roadway or unattended lots. Motion-sensing lights, security cameras and vehicle alarms can also be effective deterrents. They say there are also several aftermarket anti-theft devices that can be installed on vehicles to make it more difficult to remove the catalytic converter.
Anyone with information about this investigation is urged to contact the Teaneck Police Department Detective Bureau at 201-837-2565 or Crime Stoppers. Tips can be made anonymously on the group’s website at bergencrimestoppers.org or by calling 844-466-6789.

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